I will be doing a complete re-landscaping of my large yard, involving hundreds of flowers, bushes, trees, bulbs, etc. In order for it to be affordable for me, I was going to heavily use a couple of the leading cheap mail-order outfits (one starts with a B, the other with an M), but then I fortunately saw the TONS of negative feedback here at Dave's regarding them. So then I started looking at the highly rated ones here. But as most of you probably know, there are hundreds. So my question for you all is if you have any recommendations that meet all three of the following conditions: 1) large all-around plant offerings (not specialized); 2) prices better than just going to the local nursery; and 3) generally positive member comments. Does anyone out there have any recommendations for me?
Economical but reliable mail-order suppliers?
Well you can't go wrong with any of the Watchdog 30, those are the most highly rated companies
I LOVE Bluestone Perennials, their plants may be small to start but grow by leaps and bounds and if there is a problem they will refund your $ or send replacement
For bulbs Van Engelen has mass quantity bulbs, less expensive than getting smaller quantities
I recommend checking out the trade lists, the classifieds and the co-ops on DG or Ebay
Are you willing to live with really small plants and be patient, or are you hoping to get things the size that you would buy at a local nursery? Things that you get from mail order can sometimes appear cheaper, but it's because the plants tend to be much smaller. So if size of the plant is a factor, you'll get more for your money at a local nursery. But if you're willing to buy something that's small and wait for it to grow, or if you like a lot of plants that you can't find locally then mail order is your best bet. (if you want the larger size, you might see if a local nursery could give you a deal if you're going to buy a ton of plants from them)
In addition to what flowAjen mentioned, High Country Gardens is a good mail order nursery that specializes in plants for dry western climates, and Forest Farm is a good place for trees/shrubs and also has perennials. Both have a wide range of different plants.
Thanks for the heads-up on the "Watchdog 30". I'm brand-new to gardening and have been much less than impressed by my experiences with the "B" catalog nursery the original poster mentioned. I'm off to look at the others!!